Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rising ocean acidity tips delicate balance |

Rising ocean acidity tips delicate balance |

There are lots of reasons to be concerned about rising ocean acidity. If it kills one year's generation of oysters, that is disquieting. If it starts to kill of the next year, and the next year, that is a disaster.

The kill off of the ocean reefs, pretty much world-wide, is in part because of ocean acidifciation. An estimate of 10% of ocean reefs are dead with some 60% at risk. That should rise to 90% and essentially 100% at risk by 2030 and 2050, respectively. Most of that impact is human caused, and a big part of that is fossil fuel related.

The greenhouse gases raise the air temperatures (again, the big debate is about how much and how fast). The oceans raise in temperature at a much delayed rate, especially deep ocean. So it may be years or decades before ocean temperature rises are felt from the time of increase in air temperatures.

But the other impact is directly from CO2 emissions. Land and water masses absorb the CO2 from the atmosphere. Maybe 30 to 40% go into water, mainly oceans. This ocean sink of carbon dioxide make the water more acidic. This in turn causes lots of problems for shell fish, coral reefs, etc...

Double whammy for the oceans.

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